Committee is tasked with guiding and advancing solutions to the water quality issues that affect the Town's watersheds. The Town has submitted to the DEP and MEPA a plan to address the nitrogen loadings into the watersheds that are impacting the south coastal estuaries. The committee is exploring and pursuing solutions that incorporate a range of methods for either eliminating nitrogen from the watershed or increasing the watersheds ability to utilize or disperse the nitrogen. Methods include increased utilization of the existing wastewater plant, increased public acceptance and installation of eco-toilets, increased tidal flushing of the estuaries, increasing the level of shellfish in the estuaries, and reduction of nitrogen discharges through stormwater control and in situ - barrier systems to treat nitrogen.
The Board of Selectmen formed the Water Quality Management Committee in 2011 and tasked this group with drafting a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan that meets the mandates of Article 17, and a town-wide ballot vote. Read our Statement of Purpose here. This Committee was preceded by both the Nutrient Management Working Group and the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan Review Committee.
Article 17 passed unanimously at April 2011 Town Meeting, and then was voted by a 2:1 margin in ALL precincts in the subsequent town-wide ballot vote. Article 17 provides funding for a variety of planning, and demonstration projects. The purpose of these projects is to help find ways to remove nitrogen from our estuaries in the least expensive and most environmentally-sensible ways possible.